Besides recent times, in the past too, Bollywood actors have surprised the audiences with their marvelous performances, not just as hero but also as a villain.
They say, hero-based stories are a thing of the past but that’s not true. Besides recent times, in the past too, Bollywood actors have surprised the audiences with their marvelous performances, not just as hero but also as a villain. Though few but villain-based stories have enthralled the audiences and kept them at the edge of their seats a number of times. The conventional idea of a clear-cut distinction between the good guy and the bad guy has been shattered by some new-age movies recently and also few ahead-of-its-time films in the past. Writers have gone out of their ways to experiment with scripts and have produced storylines that have changed the game in Indian cinema.
In most cases, such movies where mainstream heroes played the antagonist were well received by the audience and a few also got critically acclaimed – Padmaavat, Gupt and Aitraaz being some fine examples. Mainstream heroes went out of their ways and took the risk to play the villain in films which led to villains receiving equal importance as heroes in present times. Let’s have a look at the finest performances of some Bollywood biggies as villains.
1. Akshay Kumar – 2.0
Starring superstar Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar in lead roles, much awaited movie 2.0 released on Thursday, November 29, 2018. Delivering a splendid performance, Akshay Kumar ruled the big screen in the presence of Superstar Rajini. Kumar’s role as Pakshirajan, who had a rather tragic background, shines over our favourite robot, Chitti. Once you’ve watched the movie and if you’ve enjoyed the performance of Pakshirajan more than Chitti then you won’t be alone. A bird lover, Pakshirajan is on a revenge-seeking spree for the death of birds and it’s easy to find more right with this villain than all that’s evil.
2. Ranveer Singh – Padmaavat
Those who have watched Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat would agree that the character of Sultan Alauddin Khilji was tailor-made for superstar Ranveer Singh. This actor entered the industry as a “chocolate boy” with Maneesh Sharma’s Band Baja Baraat where he played the character of a typical Delhiite, Bittoo Sharma. Who could have thought at that point that Ranveer would one day be seen portraying one of his finest performances as a villain. The character of Khilji was certainly not a cakewalk for this mainstream hero and it took him a lot to portray it on the screen with such finesse. With staying inside locked doors for a month to getting out of his comfort zone – he has done it all to get into the skin of Khilji’s character. Such intensity in the preparation of Bollywood films in the present era is highly commendable.
3. Kajol – Gupt: The Hidden Truth
One of the finest actors of her times, known for her blockbuster pairing with Shah Rukh Khan in some of Bollywood’s best romantic movies, Kajol turned heads around with her marvellous performance in Gupt. No other actor during those times could slay the role of Kajol’s character in the film. The actor’s performance in this Rajiv Rai directorial definitely brings her to the top of female villains’ list in Indian cinema. The film also won her a Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role, making her the first female actor to bag the award in this particular category.
4. Priyanka Chopra – Aitraaz
One of her first few movies, where the actress was climbing up the ladder to success, Aitraaz helped Priyanka get a huge leap and it turned out to be one of her most critically acclaimed performances. Playing the character of Soniya Roy, an ambitious woman who accuses her employee of sexual harassment, this Abbas-Mustan thriller was Priyanka’s first film as an antagonist. The actor calls it the ‘biggest learning experience of her career.’ Though she starred opposite Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor in the film, critics’ reports had it that it was Priyanka’s film. She stole the show with her magnetic screen presence in the skin of a wicked, gold-digging seductress. The role also won Chopra a Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role making her the second and the final actress to win it as the category was discontinued in 2008.
5. Shah Rukh Khan – Darr
With those adorable dimples on his cheeks and his die-hard charming personality, it was indeed difficult to imagine Shah Rukh Khan in a negative role. Yet, SRK took the audience by surprise with his splendid performance on the screen in both Darr and Anjaam. One of the finest romantic heroes of Bollywood to take the risk of a negative character, SRK announced it to the world that he can do justice to any role with his splendid acting skills.
6. Sanjay Dutt – Agneepath
A remake of a 90s movie by the same name, Agneepath is Sanjay Dutt’s most appreciated roles in the industry. Known for his roles in majorly crime thrillers and romcoms, Dutt surprised the audience with his appearance in the Karan Malhotra directorial that also starred Rishi Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra in lead roles. Another romantic actor to play the role of a villain in the film was none other than Rishi Kapoor who, too, got the audience applauding.
7. Riteish Deshmukh – Ek Villain
Starring new-age actors like Shraddha Kapoor and Siddarth Malhotra, Ek Villian was the talk of the town much for Riteish Deshmukh’s negative role in the film. Playing the character of a psycho-killer in this Mohit Suri directorial, Riteish proved it to the audience that he was here for the long run. Critics hailed the portrayal of a psychopath by Deshmukh in the movie.
8. Ajay Devgn – Khakee
This action-thriller film by Rajkumar Santoshi saw Ajay Devgn in a completely different avatar than the usual roles he played. The film was based on the story of a team of police officers who were on a mission to escort an accused terrorist from a small town in Maharashtra to Mumbai. The film also starred Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in lead roles. The movie earned widespread critical acclaim and went on to become one of the highest-grossing Hindi films of 2004.